CSU Research: Testing the tasting of Australian Shiraz in Hong Kong

Sunday 24 Jun 2018

* In research funded by Wine Australia, NWGIC and AWRI researchers conducted a sensory analysis workshop at Vinexpo Hong Kong 2018.

* The workshop demonstrated a new technique called pivot profiling, where participants compare a series of wines to a control wine.

* It will help provide an insight into how Chinese wine professionals describe Australian Shiraz.

* Australia’s showcase at the event was supported by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

Asia’s premier wine trade fair has provided the perfect opportunity for National Wine and Grape Industry Centre (NWGIC) and Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) researchers to collect data while promoting Australian wine.

Charles Sturt University (CSU) lecturer Dr John Blackman and PhD candidate Mr Wes Pearson (pictured), conducted a sensory analysis workshop at Vinexpo Hong Kong in late May.

Dr Blackman said, “The workshop at Vinexpo gives us an insight into the language used by Chinese trade members to describe Australian Shiraz and we’re looking forward to comparing that to what we learn from a future workshop with the wine trade in the United States later this year.”

The workshop was part of a number of master class seminars organised by Wine Australia with members of the Chinese wine sector taking part including influential wine educator Corinne Mui and Beijing-based Fongyee Walker MW.

The Shiraz terroir workshop aimed to showcase Wine Australia’s commitment to research, as well as highlighting the quality and diversity of Australian Shiraz.

Wine Australia General Manager of Research and Development, Dr Liz Waters, said the Vinexpo Hong Kong engagement was an ideal opportunity to collect information on Chinese wine professionals’ perception of Australian Shiraz.

“Similar exercises have been carried out in the USA and when we’ve had large groups of international sommeliers visiting Australia,” she said.

“It all helps us better understand how the diversity of Australian Shiraz wines is perceived by our international customers and how large the differences between the wines from the different regions are.”

Mr Pearson, who is also an AWRI senior scientist, is making use of the ‘pivot profiling’ technique as part of his PhD research at CSU.

“Pivot profiling is a rapid data collection method that asks people not to assess and describe wines in isolation but to compare each wine to a control wine, the pivot.”

Dr Blackman said the research tool is being used as part of a project to define the sensory properties of Shiraz wines from selected regions in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

“We’re looking for correlations between the sensory properties of Australian Shiraz wines, their chemical profiles and the climatic regions from which the grapes were sourced,” Dr Blackman said. Read more about the Australian Shiraz terroir project here.

As ‘Country of Honour’ at Vinexpo Hong Kong, Australia’s showcase at the event was supported by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

The NWGIC is an alliance between Charles Sturt University (CSU), the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the NSW Wine Industry Association.


Media contact: Emily Malone, 0439 552 385

Media Note:

To arrange interviews contact NWGIC Communications Officer Ms Emily Malone on 0439 552 385 or email emalone@csu.edu.au or AWRI Communication Manager Ella Robinson on 0402 402 121 or ella.robinson@awri.com.au

High resolution images are available to download via Dropbox.

Information on Wine Australia’s research program can be obtained from Hannah Bentley (Hannah.bentley@wineaustralia or 0428 930 865).

About Wine Australia

Wine Australia supports a competitive wine sector by investing in research, development and extension (RD&E), growing domestic and international markets, protecting the reputation of Australian wine and administering the Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

Wine Australia is an Australian Commonwealth Government statutory authority, established under the Wine Australia Act 2013, and funded by grape growers and winemakers through levies and user-pays charges and the Australian Government, which provides matching funding for RD&E investments.

About The Australian Wine Research Institute

The Australian Wine Research Institute is the Australian grape and wine industry’s own research organisation. It supports a sustainable and successful grape and wine industry through world class research, practical solutions and knowledge transfer. Website: www.awri.com.au.